Category Archives: Elfin Forest

Commentary Why San Diego can’t afford to build in high-risk fire areas – The San Diego Union-Tribune

We are facing a moment of truth in San Diego County. The recent fires in Paradise, Thousand Oaks and Malibu are a stark reminder that California is increasingly a fire-prone state and that some parts of San Diego County are at extreme risk. Because of this high fire risk, the county’s general plan discourages high-density development in the canyons and chaparral-covered hillsides of the unincorporated county. The county spent 13 years and more than $18 million creating this plan which directs where housing

READ MORE VIA Source: Why San Diego can’t afford to build in high-risk fire areas – The San Diego Union-Tribune 

Theberge is chair of the Elfin Forest Harmony Grove Town Council and the director of Grow the San Diego Way

Giving Back To Nature… and Myself: Elfin Forest Trail Patrol

Next Training on January 19th 9:00am – 12:00pm

Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve

8833 Harmony Grove Rd

Escondido, CA 92029

Start the new year off with a commitment to give back to mother nature and spend more time outdoors. The Olivenhain Municipal Water District and The Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) are recruiting volunteers for their next Trail Patrol Training on January 19th. Trail Patrol volunteers sign up for monthly hikes at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve (EFRR) and the Conservancy’s neighboring preserves to help maintain trails and protect the natural open spaces we love.

“One of my favorite parts of serving on the Trail Patrol is a bit selfish. I sometimes need the motivation to make time for a good hike, so I look forward to my 3-hours-a-month on the Elfin Forest Trail,” says Cindy Pahl, one of our newest volunteers. “At the same time, I love my role as an ‘ambassador’ for Elfin Forest, which feels less selfish and more giving,” Pahl continued. Volunteers get to explore the beautiful, serene trails while assisting visitors and submitting reports to our rangers and land managers.

“When a trail issue is reported by a trail patrol volunteer, rangers quickly respond with action.  This results in greater trail sustainability and a safer recreation experience for our visitors,” says EFRR Park Supervisor, Jeff Anderson. EFRR provides an outdoor recreation area for 150,000 visitors a year. EFRR park rangers and Conservancy land managers heavily rely on trail patrol volunteers to be the eyes and ears for the Reserve and report their observations while on patrol. “Our volunteers help us track where invasive plant infestations need to be addressed, whether preserves are receiving inappropriate human use like fishing, pointing out trails that need repair, and making note of rare or amazing wildlife phenomena!,” says Conservation Land Manager, Hannah Walchak, who helps manage about 2,500 acres of land in the Escondido Creek watershed.

Whether you’re patrolling on foot, mountain bike, or horseback, there is a place on the team for you. Plus, there are many trail options for various mobility levels. And you don’t need to be a wildlife expert to join! We’ll tell you everything you need to know and provide you with your own uniform you can wear as you’re out exploring the trails. Our next training is Saturday, January 19th from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm so don’t wait to sign up! You can register online at https://trailpatrol.eventbrite.com

Judge Issues Tentative Ruling On Carbon Offsets For New Development | KPBS

San Diego County’s plans to approve thousands of new homes this summer could be hampered by a court’s tentative ruling this week.

A Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled in favor of the Sierra Club’s petition for a stay in a case involving how to compensate for increased greenhouse gas emissions from new housing development.

Sierra Club attorney Josh Chatten-Brown said the County of San Diego promised in 2011 to be a leader in fighting climate change. He said the county planned to offset increased carbon emissions from new housing developments with programs to improve air quality within San Diego County.

The suit says the county is now approving new housing developments but promising to mitigate for increased greenhouse gas emissions with carbon offsets elsewhere in the world.

The lawsuit attempting to block this strategy could set a precedent, Chatten-Brown said.

“Throughout the state, agencies are looking at San Diego to see what happens here, so I do think there is a real potential to have state-wide impact,” he said.

Chatten-Brown said the county needs to find programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the county, rather than buying credits in other parts of the world.

“There’s plenty of county land, including the port, in which there is potential to create offset projects,” Chatten-Brown said. “The county, for whatever reason, decided not to go that route and allowed developers to go international.”

The lawsuit could affect Newland Sierra, a proposed master-planned development of more than 2,000 new homes in North County that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is poised to consider later this month.

San Diego, like the rest of the state, is facing a shortage of housing. The question of how to make up for increased carbon emissions generated by increased traffic is one of several hurdles the region is facing as it struggles to expand to meet the demands of a growing population.

Source: Judge Issues Tentative Ruling On Carbon Offsets For New Development | KPBS

Coexisting with Coyotes: New Exhibit at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Interpretive Center

The Escondido Creek Conservancy presents a new exhibit, Coexisting with Coyotes, which will be on display in the Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve on September 5th through December 31st.

Coyotes are adaptable and found almost everywhere in San Diego County—including wild lands, suburban neighborhoods, and even in our cities. As coyotes continue to lose their traditional habitat and are driven onto human-occupied areas, the conflict between humans and coyotes has increased. Between 1998 and 2015 there were 90 reported coyote attacks on humans in California. In contrast, there were 2,446 documented cases of foodborne illness in California during this same period—so in effect, people are 27 times more at risk from their food than from coyotes. Nevertheless, coyotes do pose a risk to people and their pets, and public concern continues to mount. But coyotes are an important part of our ecosystem, and coexistence with them is possible, which is the aim of this exhibit.

Featuring puzzles, audio, art, taxidermy, and more, this interactive exhibit provides facts about these clever animals and dispels common myths. It also outlines specific things people can do to keep their family and pets safe while still keeping these beneficial creatures wild and free.

The exhibit was conceived by Dr. Adena Boxer-Capitano, a former veterinarian. She’s also an educator and a docent at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve. She started the Coyote Coexistence Project and is dedicated to helping communities develop plans to coexist with the wildlife that share our neighborhoods.

The Interpretive Center at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve is open seven days a week, 8:00-3:00, depending on volunteer docent availability. An updated weekly schedule of Interpretive Center hours can be found at https://elfinforest.olivenhain.com/.

San Diego County Fast-Tracks Waivers To General Plan For New Housing | KPBS

High on a hillside in North County’s unincorporated area, you can see new houses springing up on lots in Harmony Grove in the valley below. Elfin Forest resident JP Theberge said the local community agreed to 700 homes in this rural valley west of Escondido. But developers are now proposing 700 more, on land that was supposed to be protected from development. Theberge said none of the homes will be affordable, even to middle-class families earning San Diego’s median income.

READ MORE Source: San Diego County Fast-Tracks Waivers To General Plan For New Housing | KPBS

Supervisors to consider three large housing projects – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The first three of seven large housing developments proposed to be built in various parts of unincorporated San Diego County will go before the Board of Supervisors Wednesday for approval.Two are controversial; both are planned for the Harmony Grove/Elfin Forest areas just west of Escondido and south and east of San Marcos in a semi-rural pocket of the county surrounded by urban dedevelopment.The third is a much larger project in Otay Mesa that has limited opposition and has flown through the planning process.It is the North County projects that have nearby residents and environmental groups up in arms.The Harmony Grove Village South and Valiano projects combined would bring 779 homes to the region. When the local community planning groups evaluated both projects, they unanimously voted to recommend denial, citing traffic, fire danger and community character issues, among others concerns.

READ MORE VIA Source: Supervisors to consider three large housing projects – The San Diego Union-Tribune

3 Teens Rescued After Truck Goes into Creek in Elfin Forest| NBC 7 San Diego

Three teens driving around Elfin Forest found themselves in a dangerous situation Sunday when the truck they were driving was swept away by the strong current of a creek.

“We just kind of floated down river, like just kind of took us down and we kind of flipped over,” Ben Ripley and Ricky Heidt told NBC 7. “Our friend drove through that this morning and he thought he could make it a little after and we just took off and lost control of the water, flipping back and forth, on top of each other the car hit something.”

The teens had decided to drive through the creek for fun. The incident happened around 6:44 p.m. in the Elfin Forest. The rescue was complicated because of the tall trees around where the truck had gone in.

Source:  http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/3-Men-Rescued-After-Truck-Goes-into-Creek-in-N-County–367171981.html#ixzz3yw9MIyFu

Elfin Forest

Source: 3 Teens Rescued After Truck Goes into Creek in N. County | NBC 7 San Diego

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